They have travelled across oceans to study in Toowoomba, and the University of Southern Queensland’s (USQ) newest international students have received a rousing welcome to the community.

Hundreds of students were the guests of honour at the Cooee International Student Welcome at Cobb & Co Museum on 3 March.The event, a Study Toowoomba initiative hosted by Toowoomba Regional Council and USQ, included an Indigenous smoking ceremony, student musical performances and local wildlife displays.

Mayor Paul Antonio said the Toowoomba Region was pleased to extend a warm welcome to new international students. “The program for this year’s event has been designed to give a true taste of what our community has to offer,” he said. “We want Toowoomba Region to be the destination of choice for international students, and one of the key ingredients to enhancing the student experience is providing a warm welcome and supportive environment.”

More than 400 new international students joined USQ Toowoomba for Semester 1, 2019, from destinations such as India, China, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Netherlands.

Chancellor John Dornbusch said it was an honour to attend the event, on behalf of USQ and also as a local resident. “The Toowoomba and Darling Downs community embraces the composition of its people – we live in a place where the whole world meets,” he said. “20 per cent of our University’s student population are international students. Last year 4000 students, from countries all over the world, graduated from USQ. At our university, staff come from more than 70 countries and our international students are from 94 different countries with more than 110 languages spoken by our Australian and overseas students and our staff. I am proud of this community; I thank the Toowoomba Regional Council and education providers across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs for the very warm and genuine welcome we provide to overseas students, staff and family.”

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